In a scientific age that looks for that which is historically or scientifically verifiable, the resurrection is a difficult concept to embrace. Talk of empty tombs and such, well, that is so far back in history. Discoveries of Jesus' tomb are more conjecture than historical proofs. As a historian, I put great stock in what history demonstrates, but I also know that the historical record is not just incomplete, it is a finite discipline dependent on human records and observations, combined with what we believe is possible. Now, talk of resurrection becomes difficult. Still, I find the hope of the resurrection to be central to my faith.
In thinking about the resurrection, in anticipation of Easter, I did a bit of reading around in my books. I plan to offer some more quotes, but being that I'm a Moltmann fan, I had to start with an excerpt from his writings.
When we talk about Christ's resurrection from the dead we are not talking about a fact. We are talking about a process. We are talking in one and the same breath about the foundation, the future and the practical exercise of God's liberation of men and women, and his redemption of the world. So what we can know historically about Christ's resurrection must not be abstracted from the question of what we can hope from it, and what we have to do in its name. Kant made this intrinsic connection clear. It is only in living unity of knowing, hoping and doing that Christ's resurrection must be understood in its true historical sense. (Jurgen Moltmann, Jesus Christ for Today's World, Fortress, 1994, pp. 79-80).
Here I think Moltmann is talking about the transformative nature of resurrection. It's not simply belief in a doctrine, it is letting God's life transform us and empower us to serve the world in which we live. I will publish further paragraphs that hopefully will extend this idea of resurrection.